Fri. May 31st, 2024
PENANG 09/03/18: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said DAP will support the Fake News bill if safeguards are in place during the press conference at Penang DAP Headquarters, Jalan Rangoon yesterday. PICTURE BY SAYUTI ZAINUDIN

It is hoped that the appointment of the new Attorney General (AG) is resolved as soon as possible as this is crucial to the new government’s administration.

It is, however, imperative to note that regardless of whether there is an impasse in relation to the appointment of a new AG, current AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali must, in any event, be removed first before a new AG can be appointed as the failure to do so will likely result in a challenge on the appointment of the new AG later on the ground that Apandi remained a lawful AG when the said new appointment was made, thus rendering the said new appointment null and void.

For this reason, I repeat what I had said yesterday as reported by FMT in its report titled, “Remove Apandi now, Ramkarpal urges Mahathir” that Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad must remove Apandi by terminating his contract immediately even if the appointment of a new AG has not been finalised yet in which case, the Solicitor-General (SG) can assume the role of the AG temporarily in his absence.

Furthermore, I am unable to agree with Promise 15 of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Manifesto that the AG will be appointed from amongst only Members of Parliament (MPs) because if this was the case, there will be a grave restriction of talent for the job as only those MPs may be considered when there might be so many other better qualified non-MPs.

A situation may also arise wherein none of the MPs are suitable in which case, surely it would be unreasonable to restrict the choice of an AG to only those MPs.

No doubt, there may be potential candidates for AG who happen to be MPs but it does not necessarily follow that only MPs should be considered for the post. An AG must

possess a firm grasp of both civil and criminal law and must be able to act without fear or favour as basic prerequisites before he/she is considered for the job.

In the circumstances, I am respectfully of the view that the said Promise 15 ought to be reviewed to not restrict the selection of an AG only to MPs but instead, open to all potential candidates who fulfil the necessary criteria of one of the country’s most important positions.

Dated 3rd June, 2018.